Ezekiel is over and what a wild ride that was! Flip back through the book and look at all that we have read. We end with this Ezekiel’s temple. There are two possible suggestions on this
I have done research that supports both. The temple is called the “millennial temple”. God is to live in this temple forever, so I am having a hard time with the literal. I am also having a hard time with literal sacrifices since Jesus on the Cross was Once and For All!. Can my opinion be wrong. YES!
The River of Life is revealed is these scriptures. This is the 2nd of 5 total appearances of the River. It began at Eden, we get a glimpse of it now, mentioned in Joel and Zechariah and we will read about it in detail in Revelation 22. (Stop here and go to Rev 22…wow). Whether you choose literal or figurative one thing is certain, Jesus is the Stream of Life that makes all things good grow. I read a quote today “the Stream is a beautiful picture of the benign influences of Christ, coming out of Jerusalem and flowing forth, in an ever-widening, ever-deepening steam, to the whole wide world, blessing the nations with their life-giving qualities, on into the eternities of heaven”.
The other side of me does say it is literal and it will be the temple during the reign of Christ for the thousand years and the sacrifices will be a remembrance just like taking the Body of Christ is today. I truly love that there is so much to the Bible that we all have to say “I don’t know what this means’ because God is so Big and so Deep at we truly cannot fathom All He WIll Be In Heaven.
And if the option we talked about all week: “My body is a Temple” which can be the 3rd option for it says in John 4
Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
There will be no Temple Worship. But whatever Ezekiel’s temple is God does know but did you catch the name of the temple…
THE LORD IS THERE.
You are not Jewish and you live on this side of the Cross. So what does this reading have to do with you? Why would God include it in the Bible for ALL to have. Why? I will tell you. BECAUSE God is Holy and Never Changes. If we don’t understand the concept of Holiness then our progress as a Christian will not go far. Chapter 44 verse 9 clearly states that Unbelievers will not be allowed to enter the Temple.
Then the chapter continues about our approach to the Lord. Yes we have read all this before in Exodus and Leviticus. What are we thinking when we approach the Lord of All, the God of the Universe, like He is one of us? Think about this as you talk to God today. Ask Him to give you a Reverence and a Respect even just with hearing His Name!
So here is the question, If God is going into GREAT detail AGAIN and AGAIN about how pure He desired the Temple to be, are we paying attention (to our Temple) to His Dwelling Place or are we allowing what we see, hear and do, defile it?
I approached today’s reading and just asked God to reveal a message to me in it. I fully trust that on ever page if we are prayerful and trust that the Lord Can and Will speak to us, He does. And Man…every scripture lately has brought me to the word repentance lately. Maybe knowing Joel is coming up seeded that in my heart but still.
In Chapter 43 he speaking about a wall between our sin and Him. A wall! I am not trying to interpret the Scripture I am just letting you know what blew me away. It’s not “this is the part of me you can have…and this part don’t look at” . Go to 43:8, we put our threshold next to His…what? He is the only standard! But wait it gets better….
Let them consider the plan, and if they are ashamed of all they have done, make known to them the design of the temple—its arrangement, its exits and entrances—its whole design and all its regulations and laws. Write these down before them so that they may be faithful to its design and follow all its regulations.
Ohhhh that just touched my heart. Think about this. We know that Jesus will say that there is no longer a physical temple but that our bodies will be the ones that will house the Lord forever. SO now reread the above statement and see how that applies to us and our relationship with the Holy Spirit. What were your thoughts on the Reading?
I need you all to know that on a scale from 1 to 10 on a Bible Level I am a Level One. The reason I tell you this is so that you will know that there is sooooooooooooooooooo much more to a book like Ezekiel than I can ever peel off, even if we studied it for years. This summer I read a book by David Jeremiah called “What in the World is Going On?
- How is prophecy playing out in modern Europe?
- Why does Israel matter?
- How are oil reserves and Islamic terrorism related?
- Does the United States play a role in prophecy?
- How should we live in the end times?
The book was fascinating. Just to give you a slice of some of the topics in the book; this week read about a prophecy that was told in Ezekiel 37 over 2000 years ago and it was fulfilled in 1948. See, there are no more Prophecies (the Bible is sealed closed) but there are the fulfillment of the prophecies still at hand. Much of what we are reading right now is actually concerning the CURRENT EVENTS of the Middle East (I don’t go into all of them because honestly I am just not that smart). See, we have already established how the fighting began in Genesis and why the fighting is still going on today but now we are seeing the prophecies of the Restoration and the last prophecies fulfilled to usher in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. (We saw the prophecies for the First Coming…now it is time to fulfill the Second )
Anyway, I wanted you to recap…The Valley of the Dry Bones, the Unity of Israel as a State (Truman signed this Declaration on May 14, 1948, and then the re-gathering of His People (In 2006, Israel for the first time becomes home to more Jewish people in Israel than the USA, from 650,000 in 1948 to 5.4 Million in 2006 and growing fast….just like the Scriptures will say in Ezekiel 39)
So know this: we are doing a wonderful job studying His Word the way we are and all the Glory to Him Because we could not still be doing this without Him, BUT I wanted you to know that His Word goes so deep and if you really take the time to STUDY in the years
A second vision of a Temple. The first one Ezekiel had was of the existing Temple and the defilement. This one is NEW and not defiled. What does all this mean? Honestly, I am not certain.
- Is it a vision of the rebuilding of the Temple on the Holy Land?
- Is it the Temple that will be built for the millennium Reign?
- Is it the New Temple that will be built in the New Heaven?
- Is is it figurative describing the New Temple as us?
The Sovereignty of God’s Plan.
The Inevitable Accomplishment of God’s Purpose.
The Salvation of God’s People.
Prophecy about Edom. Kiss your brain if you remember who they are and why the Lord talks about their mountain as their pride. Edom, from Esau, from the dispute between Jacob and Esau. Esau’s family line (Edomites) are the modern day Arabs. Anyway, they built an impregnable city. NO one could attack them. Well, that’s not technically true…God did!
Chapter 36 is incredible. In verse 22 God’s plan is so obviously stated. All He is doing is for what is to come. Read 22 forward again. This is all being done to pave the way for the Messiah to come, since the people will not listen to God, He will restore us by bringing Jesus and giving us a new heart, and a Spirit (vs 27). I would write more BUT I have to talk about 37. I wish 37 was a stand alone read so we could really get into it! But you also have to see the MODERN DAY PROPHECY in all this. Israel is Being restored. Do you watch the news? What do you see? When you read these chapters, know there is current according to context and modern prophecies in all these chapters. ( “interesting” you just said in your head huh…..)
The Valley of the Dry Bones!!! (Again I need you to know that this is talking about the “dead in spirit” of the people in the Babylonian captivity, as well as current events of the restoration of Israel as we speak)
OK, if you are reading the blog first. Stop, go and read it once, and then come back to here. THEN read it again.
At first I am thinking God COULD do that. So imagine the look on Ezekiel’s face when it happened. If God can restore the bones of Israel, the ones in exile, then surely he can restore us when we are spiritually dry or even dead. People cannot doubt that strong non believers can’t be restored to full believers, God can do anything. If you say “yeah but you don’t know this person…” shame on you for limiting God like that.
So I keep reading and I start to feel again this is about Jesus coming. OK, I am used to the prophet books having multiple lines of Prophecy, but this one is all THREE. Israel, Messiah and Tribulation. And hold on, are you sitting?? This is the only prophecy in history that a generation could read about and see happen in life. Did you hear what I just said. God chose you to be born at a time when you could open the prophecy and read it and SEE it happen.
Are you paying attention? Get this. When the part of the chapter starts in verse 15, the 2 sticks, one representing Judah and the other Israel. And he makes them one nation coming from the scattered nations (after the dispersion). *the time we are reading this we only had 2 of the 3 sieges done, Jerusalem has not been destroyed yet, the final blow)* So this prophecy is talking about when Judah and Israel come together again and are a formed nation. This prophecy hung out there for over 2000 years, never fulfilled. AND guess what, it did!. On May 14, 1948 Jews became an independent state after the Arab Israeli war, known as the War of Independence. Did you get all that. Since the Babylonian exile, the nations were dispersed all over, and this prophecy came true not until 1948. Before this date scholars could say with confidence that the end of days were not here because this prophecy hung out there. Well, people, guess what….so now when you hear that person say: We are in the end times, Jesus is coming, the last days, the brink of tribulation….WE ARE! And if you don’t think so…start paying attention to the times! Unless your days are numbered you may get to see if from this side.
I bet when you woke up today you had no idea you would be reading about this! Well. God is just good that way.
Just when I get bored with the reading, a reading like today completely rejuvenates me! I am skipping straight to 33.
Ezekiel’s message as well as the people take a turn in direction here. Ezekiel is appointed a watchman (Jesus is the new watchman) and gives a message of Hope. As I read up to verse 9 I was given again a strong message of my purpose. Let me explain, remember when Ezekiel ate the scroll in the vision, and the Lord said (paraphrased) you won’t be judged for the way the people react to your message about the Lord but you will be judged on the fact that you DO IT! Well, that was the message the Lord gave me this morning in this message. Look at the second paragraph, as you walk around your office, friends, family, neighborhood…think about this:
But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood.’ ”Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man to turn from his ways and he does not do so, he will die for his sin, but you will have saved yourself.
Ezekiel 34 Shepherds and Sheeps. WOW. SO many levels to this. Sooooo many. We are shepherds to a flock. Our purpose is to find the lost and the scattered and bring them to lie down near water, the water of Life. But the message here is a foreshadow of Our Shepherd. The Son of David. I have that song in my head “Jesus Messiah…. a name above all names…Blessed Redeemer….Emmanuel…” ohhh I love that song.
I am so counting down the days to read about Jesus. As much as I am sure the Israelites were wanting Jesus to come too at this point. Even though we have read about the fall of Egypt in past books it is wild to read about it from this vantage point. Jeremiah prophesied it all from the outside looking in. Ezekiel is hundreds of miles away prophesying it from the exile. As we read this we already know that Assyria crushes Egypt in a world Power attempt, and then Babylon comes in and takes them both. From 28-32 there are 6 prophecies dealing with the judgement of on Egypt.
In 587 three of Judah’s kings in a row all looked to Egypt (instead of the Lord) for help. Egypt was always an enemy of Israel (uuuuh remember the 400 years of slavery), they worshipped so many false gods, and when they did align with Israel it was only for their own personal gain.
Vision 1: (chapter 29) Tyre is a ship (it was a coastal nation so they would understand this language), Egypt is a crocodile. In verse 11 it says no man will live there for 40 years. From the time Egypt was attacked by Nebuchadnezzar to the rise of Persia was 40 years.
Vision 2: (chapter 29) Nebuchadnezzar never received anything for his conquest and the treasure would slowly be stolen by inhabitants passing through the land.
Vision 3: (Chapter 30) 15 months before Jerusalem fell, the Pharaoh’s army was defeated.
Vision 4 Chapter 31) 13 months before Jerusalem fell, Egypt was told that Babylon had taken bigger armies than theirs…warning.
Sorry so brief….my first week of graduate school and I am feeling overwelmed.
After Reading yesterdays message about the fire of the furnace, I really enjoyed the cooking pot illustration. Ezekiel speaks to them just like our pastors speak to us to get the point across to us. The first wave of captives have already been taken so the people left behind thought they were the “choice meat”…..uh no. Just like if we are not being disciplined by the Lord today we may be thinking we got away with it. Remember it comes in HIS timing, when the discipline will work to bring us closer to him not further. Anyway, this story was told the day Jerusalem was attacked by Babylon that lasted 2 years.
God told Ezekiel not to mourn his wife as a parallel for the exiles not to mourn for their brothers under the 2 year attack in Jerusalem that was occurring. Ezekiel is a portrait of obedience. He doesn’t ask “really?” “let me pray about that” & “nahhhh. He does what the Lord says no matter what is asked of him.
The next chapters are regarding the surrounding nations. Listen to me…consider this today an important read. Yes we have read about this not only in Jeremiah and Isaiah, but we read about EACH nation in its own minor prophet book. But, are you still with me? This time consider WHY they were being judged, not just that they were. Search your heart to make sure you are not a Ammonite, or a Moabite, or any of the nations in the eyes of the Lord.
Ammon: They were judged over their joy over the destruction of the temple.
Moab: Watching Judah’s wickedness, laughing at it. Look they are just like everyone else!
Edom: They radically hated the Jews, people not of their own.
Philistia: They sought vengeance.
Historically it is important to see how Jerusalem was completely surrounded by these nations. Look at this map so can see matching scriptures.
Chapter 27: Tyre. (can you see it). Notice it is a coastline city. Tyre rejoiced when Jerusalem fell thinking now they would control all the Sea Trade business. Well, no. Nebuchadnezzar attacked them for this land for 15 years. Actually, some of the scriptures here are a prophecy of the finality of it during the years not in the bible between the OT and NT.